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Afternoon Announcements: Report – Grade Retention Has Dropped Dramatically in the Last Decade

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December 15, 2014 12:30 pm

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A new study from the American Educational Research Association  found that the rate at which kids are held back — in education circles it’s called “grade retention” — has dropped dramatically. From 1995 to 2005, the overall retention rate hovered near 3 percent. But, from 2005 to 2010 it fell to 1.5 percent. NPR

Along with increasing the E-Rate funding cap by $1.5 billion, making the program the third largest source of federal funding to schools with $3.9 billion yearly, on December 11 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also approved an increase in required rural broadband speeds for companies that receive Connect America funding. edSurge

Alternative paths proposed by Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson that rethink seat time for DC high schools would allow students to get a diploma faster or, in some cases, without having to spend time in a traditional high school.The Washington Post

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan waded into Philadelphia’s public school financing crisis—and, more broadly, funding issues in Pennsylvania and the nation in an Op-Ed to the Philadelphia Inquirer Friday calling out the injustice of inequitable school funding.

Outgoing New York State Education Commissioner John King hopes to help school leaders in other states navigate the difficult transition to the Common Core standards and related standardized testing in his new position as the second-highest ranking official in the U.S. Department of Education. Capital New York

A new California study, conducted for the U.S. Department of Education, found that students who had gotten at least a C in the course the first time around, and had passed the state algebra assessment, were harmed by taking the course a second time. Both their grades and test scores declined. Education by the Numbers – The Hechinger Report

Mississippi’s education woes continue to grow. Since 2008, legislators have ignored a state law and spent $1.5 billion less on education than what’s required. The cuts are among the deepest in the nation. Associated Press

Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a public middle school in Brooklyn, the poorest neighborhood in New York City, prides itself on its “holistic approach” to educating children for whom nothing can be taken for granted. The New York Times

Across Virginia, school divisions have been grappling with a decline in state education funding since 2008. But poor school divisions have born a disproportionate brunt of the cuts, according to a study by the Commonwealth Institute. The Washington Post

A text message can have a profound effect on the ability of students to learn, according to some researchers at Hardin-Simmons University, who explored how communication on a student’s level can help teachers impart their knowledge and entice learning outside the typical classroom setting. eSchoolNews

Most new teachers who graduate from Oklahoma education programs can find a job in the state, and it seems the majority do. Still, Oklahoma schools continue to face a teacher shortage for a variety of reasons. Tulsa World

The plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging how the Denver Public Schools uses part of the state’s teacher effectiveness law have appealed a judge’s June decision to dismiss the case. Chalkbeat CO

In Indiana, most of the high-level employees and an overwhelming majority of board members in education-focused nonprofits are white, according to a new report on diversity in education organizations. Chalkbeat IN

Tennessee’s Achievement School District will use state law to assume control of five more chronically-underperforming Memphis schools next year and hand them over to charter school operators, district officials said Friday. Chalkbeat TN

As part of an effort to bridge the so-called digital divide – the gap between rich and poor when it comes to access to technology – the Kent School District in Kent, WA has for six years given every student a laptop, beginning in seventh grade. The Hechinger Report

Many high schools have relaxed strict bans on student cellphones in recent years, and some have even embraced the devices as an instructional tool in the classroom.  But whether teenagers know how to use the devices politely and appropriately is another issue. High School Notes – US News & World Report

Universities and colleges are marketing themselves to tech-savvy teenagers while promising higher productivity and financial savings. But professors say they don’t have enough help to use this technology effectively. The Hechinger Report

Students tend to give better evaluations to their professors if they think they’re male instead of female, according to a study published last week in the journal Innovative Higher Education. The study used an online summer course on introductory anthropology and sociology to, essentially, catfish students. The Huffington Post

When it comes to choosing what technology will be added to schools, e-learning and classroom management top the list. The Journal

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